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Taiwan on ‘wrong path’: official

(Global Times)    08:38, March 30, 2017
Taiwan on ‘wrong path’: official
Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office

Danger as Tsai vows new submarines, US alliance

A Chinese mainland spokesperson warned Wednesday that an arms race between Taiwan and the mainland would only harm Taiwan people, after the island announced plans for submarines and vowed to upgrade its "strategic partnership" with the US.

"We resolutely oppose Taiwan engaging in military and official exchanges of any form with countries having diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China," Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a press conference, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"It will lead nowhere if Taiwan's authorities attempt to guard their wrong political path with bluffs or so-called military strategies," Ma said, adding that it would only increase tension and confrontation between the two sides, and hinder social and economic development on the island.

Ma reiterated that the foundation of the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations lies in opposing "Taiwan independence" and adhering to the 1992 Consensus.

"We hope that the Taiwan side can go back on the right track," he said.

"As the foundation established by the mainland and Taiwan since 2008 has been impaired, 'Taiwan independence' forces have been itching to make trouble," he added.

Taiwan announced plans on March 21 to build its own submarines, news portal ifeng.com reported.

The craft will be jointly built by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and local ship building company CSBC Corporation. It is estimated to cost $98.5 million and be delivered in eight years.

Purchasing or building weapons is a way for "Taiwan independence" supporters to embolden themselves, but is no use as the gap in military might between the two sides is so huge, Liu Xiangping, head of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at Nanjing University, told the Global Times.

"And Taiwan people will not support the movement," Liu noted, adding that an arms race would only damage cross-Straits ties. "Although [Taiwan leader] Tsai Ing-wen did not express support to 'Taiwan-independence' in public, her movement has released her tendency in the path," Liu added.

One day after the submarine announcement, Tsai proposed to upgrade its US partnership at the annual dinner party at the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, "strengthening their communication in regional security, trade and economy."

Tsai said that "the US has always been the biggest supporter of strength to Taiwan and an important pillar to the stability in the Taiwan Straits."

However, the US would not sacrifice its core interest over the Taiwan question for it still needs China's cooperation in handling international and regional issues, said Su Ge, president of the China Institute of International Studies, adding that the mainland should maintain vigilance against military trade between the island and the US. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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